Three Lawyers Murdered In Months, Now A Prominent Lawyer Pleads To Colleagues…

There is no greater group of cheer-lead­ers for the light sen­tences being hand­ed down to mur­der­ers and crim­i­nals arrest­ed with ille­gal weapons and ammu­ni­tion, than the crim­i­nal lawyers in Jamaica.
As offi­cers of the court, the Jamaican bar has become a dis­gust­ing lob­by for crim­i­nals, in what appears to be a mis­un­der­stand­ing of their roles as defend­ers of the inno­cent and uphold­ers of the laws

The fore­gone was a para­graph pulled from an arti­cle I wrote on September the 4th of this year.
That para­graph was incor­po­rat­ed in a broad­er arti­cle which spoke to the inad­e­qua­cy of the method­olo­gies being employed in the crime fight. And more impor­tant­ly, the fact that the laws are more ben­e­fi­cial to crim­i­nals than they are to law-abid­ing cit­i­zens.

Just over a week lat­er and the most recent death of a young lawyer, Sashakay Fairclough in Ocho Rios, St Ann in a hail of bul­lets, Attorney at law Peter Champagnie found his voice as he addressed the court at the open­ing of the Michaelmas Term of the Supreme Court in down­town Kingston.
It is a sad reminder that none of us are immune from the sav­agery in terms of crim­i­nal con­duct.”
Addressing Vivene Harris the pre­sid­ing judge, Champagnie went on; “Having said that, my lady, I do believe that it behoves us at the pri­vate bar  espe­cial­ly those who prac­tise at the crim­i­nal bar  to be mind­ful that while we remain guardians of the rights of indi­vid­u­als and defend our clients to the best of our abil­i­ty with­in the con­fines of the law and all eth­i­cal stan­dards, we have a greater respon­si­bil­i­ty in this new dis­pen­sa­tion to …offer solu­tions in the way of crime-fight­ing and crime pre­ven­tion,” 

Really now?
What an epiphany!
It seems to me some peo­ple only care about crime when it affects them or oth­ers in their cir­cle or social class.
Crime has become a sta­ple and a way of life in Jamaica, in terms of its accept­abil­i­ty. I can­not recall, nei­ther as a young adult, a crime fight­er, or as a for­mer crime fight­er back in civil­ian life, ever hear­ing lawyers speak out against crime.
I stand cor­rect­ed if some­one can pro­duce evi­dence con­tra­dict­ing me on this.
I’m gen­er­al­ly not one to ques­tion the motives of oth­ers, but I had to dig a lit­tle deep­er to find out what was the rea­son for this total­ly unex­pect­ed call by one of the nation’s most promi­nent crim­i­nal defense attor­neys?
And then the answer was right there in front of me.
Three (3) attor­neys have been killed since the start of the year.
Conversely, since the begin­ning of the year up to August 25th, Jamaica has record­ed 869 mur­ders — among them 30 chil­dren.
If we sub­tract the (3) attor­neys from that 869 num­ber, we are left with a total of 866 Jamaicans mur­dered, includ­ing as I allud­ed to, (30) chil­dren.
None of that was impor­tant enough to acti­vate the pan­ic but­ton in a sin­gle defense attor­ney, until their own began show­ing up on the stat sheets.

The truth of the mat­ter is that crime in Jamaica has large­ly been seen as a poor peo­ple’s prob­lem. Poor peo­ple live in under­served com­mu­ni­ties infest­ed with crim­i­nals.
Poor peo­ple’s kids become police offi­cers. Poor peo­ple’s kids join the army.
Poor peo­ple die at the hands of crim­i­nals, with the excep­tion of a few anom­alies which gen­er­al­ly gets ignored. Say for exam­ple when a politi­cian gets mur­dered for polit­i­cal expe­di­en­cy and life goes on.
The élite class is able to live out their fan­tasies as lords over the peas­an­ty dur­ing the day. At night they retreat to the rel­a­tive safe­ty of their gat­ed com­mu­ni­ties uptown, replete with high fences and armed guards.
For the rest of the coun­try, it’s every man for him­self.

Champagnie’s plea came as a result of the death of three of their own. The aver­age Jamaican has no one to lob­by on their behalf, so the deaths of (866) peo­ple are less sig­nif­i­cant than the deaths of (3).
Over the years using this medi­um, I have per­son­al­ly point­ed to the com­plic­i­ty of bench and bar in the growth of crime in our coun­try. In some cas­es, the lines between the guys who pull the trig­ger and their lawyers are so vague that they are indis­tin­guish­able.
In oth­er cas­es, through greed lawyers end up in the docks as ordi­nary crim­i­nals.
Champagnie’s call to his col­leagues for solu­tions to the Island’s crime prob­lems, is mere­ly a well couched acknowl­edge­ment of what we have been say­ing for years.
Surely, no one believes that tri­al lawyers com­ing up with solu­tions is what he is plead­ing for.
What he should say, is that his col­leagues should end their asso­ci­a­tions with the crim­i­nal under­world for the good of the coun­try and be done with it.

Mike Beckles is a for­mer Jamaican police Detective cor­po­ral, a busi­ness own­er, avid researcher, and blog­ger. 
He is a black achiev­er hon­oree, and pub­lish­er of the blog chatt​-​a​-box​.com. 
He’s also a con­trib­u­tor to sev­er­al web­sites.
You may sub­scribe to his blogs free of charge, or sub­scribe to his Youtube chan­nel @chatt-a-box, for the lat­est pod­cast all free to you of course.

One thought on “Three Lawyers Murdered In Months, Now A Prominent Lawyer Pleads To Colleagues…

  1. Mike let’s be fair to the attor­neys! Not all of them are in beds with the crim­i­nals in Jamaica . Some attor­neys are above reproach, and whose ethics, moral­i­ty, and human decen­cy are supe­ri­or to the major­i­ty of the Jamaican pop­u­la­tion.

    I know crim­i­nal lawyers who hat­ed some judges for their lenien­cy when sen­tenc­ing crim­i­nals con­vict­ed of seri­ous crimes!

    I remem­ber a well-known attor­ney vivid­ly out­raged, anguished, and fury when a spe­cif­ic high court judge gave a rob­ber five years pro­ba­tion for rob­bing and shoot­ing a man caus­ing him to par­a­lyzed from the waist. The attor­ney was vis­i­bly upset about the sen­tence that the lawyer was dumb­found­ed and could­n’t make a state­ment after the ver­dict hand­ed out to the con­vict­ed man.

    The attor­ney expressed dis­gust, lost of faith in the jus­tice sys­tem, and an encour­age­ment to com­mit crimes from the régime against its peo­ple.

    We must remem­ber that the attor­neys are Jamaicans or of oth­er juris­dic­tions which prac­tice the same laws, and some are going to be more cor­rupt than the aver­age per­son because at the end of the day it boils down to “mon­ey!”

    As for­mer law enforce­ment offi­cers, we must remem­ber that every offi­cer of the court’s sys­tem has an essen­tial part of how the sys­tem should oper­ate and although we would like them to be their con­science guides, they must do their jobs as defense attor­neys. Not all per­sons arrest­ed and charged for a crime means that they are guilty; the court decides to find the accused guilty with­out a shad­ow of a doubt. The sys­tem works for some but not for all because the cor­rupt­ed peo­ple are the leg­is­la­tors, and they are the ones who pro­tect crim­i­nals.

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